Toronto NDP municipal councilor Jack Layton wants to be Toronto’s mayor.  Much to the surprise of Mr. Layton, his followers and reporters, his formal announcement at Toronto’s City Hall on February 13 was met by immediate opposition.  Several people, including some carrying placards, heckled Layton.

Jack Layton is “completely unacceptable” as a candidate for mayor, said Paul Dodds, legal counsel for Campaign Life Coalition.

Mr. Dodds told the media people at Layton’s news conference that he is “revolted by the sort of values Jack Layton wants to push on council.”

Mr. Layton was elected to represent Toronto’s Ward 6 in 1982.  He has earned a reputation for fighting commercial developers and backing public low-rent housing.  But last year reporters learned that he and his partner, NDP public school trustee Olivia Chow, were living in a low-cost housing co-op even though their combined annual income is around $125,000.

Mr. Layton actively promotes pro-homosexual and pro-abortion events.  In 1989 and 1990 he showed up at several pro-life rescues in front of Morgentaler’s Toronto abortuary.  Each time he urged the phalanx of young, scruffy-looking pro-abortion demonstrators to climb over the seated pro-lifers blocking the entrances while urging the police to make arrests.

According to Globe and Mail columnist, Michael Valpy, Mr. Dodds and his friends surrounded Mr. Layton “with blitzkrieg precision” the moment he appeared in the foyer.

“They positioned their placards featuring a photograph of Mr. Layton bisected by an oblique red slash in front of the cameras and shouted questions about whether he planned to open an abortion clinic in City Hall or hire more homosexuals for municipal government,” Mr.Valpy observed.

Mr.Valpy acknowledged that the councilor “has been vocal in favour of abortion rights and gay rights.”

Christina Blizzard of the Toronto Sun noted that he “has had a penchant for trendy left-wing causes,” including the teaching of “homosexual issues” in schools.

Mr. Layton has hitched his candidacy for mayor to receiving the official nod from the NDP.  The NDP already has a number of councilors on city and metro boards.  The idea of a first-ever NDP mayoralty candidate was approved overwhelmingly by the Toronto City NDP earlier in February.

Campaign Life Coalition is trying to get more of its supporters active on the municipal level.  City councils and school boards make numerous decisions which have a real impact on family life, either strengthening or weakening it, Mr. Dodds told The Interim.

“Municipal politics,” he said, “is an excellent place for pro-lifers to seek political office.”